NHL Best Bets: Blue Jackets vs. Ducks Game Picks

Two of the NHL’s basement dwellers are set to collide in the nightcap tonight, with the Columbus Blue Jackets visiting the Anaheim Ducks.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Columbus Blue Jackets (-104) vs. Anaheim Ducks (-115) Total: 6.5 (O-130, U+106)

In all honesty, both the Blue Jackets and Ducks’ respective front offices would probably like to lose this game in regulation tonight. Why’s that, you ask? Well, both teams are fighting to have the best odds to have the first overall draft pick in the 2023 draft, which would give them the right to draft phenom Connor Bedard. The Ducks currently have a five-point edge in the standings, with Anaheim also playing one more game than Columbus. The Ducks are listed as slight home favorites tonight on the moneyline at -115, while the Blue Jackets are priced at -104. 

This will be the second meeting between these clubs, which initially saw the Ducks pick up a 5-3 victory on January 19. Entering this contest, the Blue Jackets own a 3-5-2 record over their past ten games, while the Ducks are sitting at 5-2-3 over that same sample size. 

Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the Blue Jackets are expected to start Michael Hutchinson in net, while the Ducks have confirmed Lukas Dostal will start. The Jackets netminder has posted a 0-1-1 record, paired with a .886 save percentage, while Dostal is sitting at 3-5-2, along with a .898 save percentage. It’s hard to give an edge to either one of these goalies, but Dostal has a lot more promise than the veteran Hutchinson. 

With the way the Ducks have been playing lately, this is a perfect matchup for them. They’ve been playing some intense hockey for their lower overall standards, and there’s definite value in backing them to come out on top tonight at home. 

Best Bet: Ducks moneyline (-115) 

Their earlier matchup saw eight goals, but it’s hard to know what to expect from these lackluster teams. They both sit in the bottom third of the league in goals scored and allowed per game, meaning it’s somewhat of a mystery how this contest will go in the goal-scoring department. Over the Blue Jackets’ past five games, they’ve seen seven or more goals scored four times, while the Ducks have seen that transpire three times. With the recent trends and result earlier this year, targeting the over 6.5 has some value worth backing tonight at -130. 

Best Bet: Over 6.5 (-130) 

Despite not having a ton of offensive talent in this game, there’s still some value that’s emerged. The Ducks are a young team focused on developing their talent, and a big part of their future revolves around Trevor Zegras. The young American forward has tallied 57 points in 68 games, and there’s a lot to like about his prospects in a juicy matchup like this. In a game where we expect to see plenty of goals, targeting one of the most talented options to score is the direction we’ll be thrilled to take at +240. 

Best Prop: Trevor Zegras to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+240)